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Germany's president quits in scandal
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Germany's president quits in scandal

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Germany's president resigned Friday in a scandal over favors he allegedly received before becoming head of state, and Chancellor Angela Merkel moved quickly to try and head off a domestic political crisis as she grapples with Europe's debt troubles.

Christian Wulff, who was Merkel's candidate for the presidency when elected less than two years ago, quit after two months of allegations he received favors such as a favorable loan and hotel stays when he was governor of Lower Saxony state.

Pressure mounted after prosecutors in the state capital, Hannover, asked Parliament Thursday to lift his immunity so they could start a formal investigation of allegations related to a film producer friend.

Merkel voiced "deep regret" at his resignation. She said she would seek an agreement with the main opposition parties on the next president.

Wulff, 52, was a deputy leader of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union before becoming president.

Prosecutors said there was an "initial suspicion" that Wulff improperly accepted or granted benefits in his relationship with David Groenewold, a German film producer whom they also plan to investigate. SUBHEAD: 3 Berlin

Original Print Headline: Germany's president forced out


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